Queen Esther

God favored her, set her above her enemies, and used her to save His people.

Queen Esther photo depiction by James C. Lewis

Esther was born as Hadassah in the capital of Elam, Persia called Susa also known as Shushan. Her mother and father Abihail, direct descendants of the Tribe of Benjamin, died of unknown circumstances making her an orphan. However, Mordecai, the nephew of Abihail and the older cousin of Esther took her as his daughter and raised her into a fair, kind, and virtuous young woman who did not know God had wonderful plans for her future.

According to various biblical timelines, Esther was about 14-years-old when King Ahasuerus (Xerxes 1) was entering his 3rd year of reign of the Persian Empire and its 127 provinces and held a great feast. This feast lasted for 180 days which was to honor his kingdom’s majesty and glory. All was invited to attend, from the nobles and servants to the princes of every province in Media and Persia (Esther 1:1-8).

In the King James Bible, it says that wine was freely given in this feast that lasted seven days, causing the men to be “merry with wine” or excessively drunk (Esther 1:10). Ahasuerus decided it was a great idea to show off his queen who was said to be the most beautiful of the world. Queen Vashti at the time was hosting her own feast for the women in a separate quarter and when the King’s chamberlains came for her, she refused, not wanting to be demeaned and disrespected by drunken men. Irrational and drunk, Ahasuerus was ill-advised by his princes and nobles and banished Vashti from the kingdom. They created a decree that men small and great were rulers over their wives in every way (Esther 1:12-22).

Due to his poor decision to banish his queen, Ahasuerus was forced to find another woman to replace Vashti. He sent another decree for every virgin woman to be collected and brought to the palace in Shushan to compete for the royal seat (Esther 2:2-4). Esther was taken from Mordecai who charged her ahead of time to conceal her true Jewish identity and name. Her name Hadassah meaning myrtle in Hebrew for the myrtle tree, a symbol of the nation of Jews, was changed to Esther, a Persian name meaning star (Esther 2:5-11).

Esther’s journey of faith starts at this point of the story as she tries to keep her Jewish values at the same time concealing them. Yet, there was one value that could not be hidden so well. Her loving and virtuous spirit of God (who was never mentioned in the Book of Esther but indeed implied) shined bright. Everyone she met came to favor her, especially the chief of the eunuchs, Hagai who expressed his favor by giving her own seven maidens to care for her hand and foot (Esther 2:8-9).

King Ahasuerus photo depiction by James C. Lewis.

For twelve months the women had to undergo a purification period. Six months they had to be purified with the oil of myrrh and the next six with sweet perfumes. When this was over, every woman was given the opportunity to have a private moment with the king in hopes of finding favor with him. They were permitted to adorn themselves in royal apparels and keep those items if they were not chosen (Esther 2:12-14). When the 10th month of Tebeth arrived entering the 7th year of Ahasuerus’ reign, Esther’s turn came. She was brought before Ahasuerus and he found favor in both her beauty and personality. He fell in love with her and crowned her Queen of Persia in the approximate year of 478 BC (Esther 2:15-18).

During her blessed transition from peasant to queen, a certain man also found favor with Ahasuerus. His name was Haman, son of Hammedatha the Agagite. He was promoted above the princes of the provinces and enjoyed the pleasures of royalty and people who bowed and worshiped him. However, one man caught his eye who refused to give him any honor. That man was Mordecai. The Holy Bible says that Haman soon was filled with indignation towards Mordecai and sought to destroy all Jews (Esther 3).

He convinced the unwise Ahasuerus to destroy the Jews who possessed laws contrary and opposing to the crown’s. On the 13th day of the month of Nissan, in his 12th year of reign, Ahasuerus wrote and sent a decree to eradicate and to confiscate the property of every Jew in the 127 provinces until the 13th day of the month Adar (Esther 3).

During the persecution, Mordecai and many Jews in hiding fell into constant weeping, praying, and fasting for mercy and deliverance. Esther, who sent her chamberlain Hatach to be a messenger between Mordecai and herself, heard about the devastation and knew what she had to do. She sent instructions for the Jews to fast and to pray for three days with her and at the end, she would go unto Ahasuerus. Now, the laws of Persia during this time, forbade people of any status to approach the king without being summoned. Being the queen who was to be a supporter of a king’s every decision was not summoned to him for thirty days (Esther 4).

At the end of the three days of fasting and prayer, Esther approached the king unsummoned and by the mercies of God, he held up his scepter and accepted her approach. Because the king loved and favored Esther, he asked her reasons for the approach and instead of asking for mercy upon the Jews, she used the wisdom of God. She invited the king and Haman to a private feast. When they attended, the king promised to give her whatever she desired even if it was half the kingdom. Instead of disclosing her wishes, she invited them to a second feast on the next evening (Esther 5:1-8).

Filled with wisdom and faith in God, Esther bravely revealed her true identity and Jewish heritage to Ahasuerus in the second feast. She had said to Mordecai, “If I perish. I perish,” knowing that this deed was risky for Ahasuerus was known historically as an impulsive king (Esther 4:16). As expected, Ahasuerus was filled with wrath and left the feast to decide what to do. Haman stayed behind and fell at Esther’s feet seeking mercy and forgiveness for the evil he had placed upon the Jews. According to the Word of God, Ahasuerus returned and found Haman on her royal bed, which was against the law, but he interpreted as Haman trying to seduce Esther (Esther 7). Within the hour, Haman was executed on the noose he had prepared for Mordecai, whom he hated, and was forced by the king to honor (Esther 6).

Map of Elam, Persia

Many stories about Esther always stops at this point when Ahasuerus delivers the Jews from persecution and sets Mordecai as prince of the princes of the provinces and was given the house of Haman (Esther 8:1-2). However, the story continues and is more in depth in the Book of Esther. See, when Esther’s request to deliver the Jews were given, Ahasuerus couldn’t reverse the first decree because decrees could not be recanted. So, in a new decree authorized by Mordecai and sealed by Ahasuerus, the Jews could defend themselves against anyone who tried to persecute them and to also reclaim any property confiscated (Esther 8:4-17).  

By the 12th month of the year, the Jews had avenged the death of their people by thousands more including the ten sons of Haman who upon request of Esther was hanged like their father. On the 14th and 15th day of Adar, Esther and Ahasuerus established a new holiday to be celebrated every year to remember how things had turned “from sorrow to joy, and from mourning to a good day” for the Jews (Esther 9:22). This feast came to be called Purim and was written in the chronicles of Persia and Media and is still recognized today by some Orthodox Jews (Esther 9).

Although, the Bible does not give a date of Queen Esther’s death, historians believe she reigned for 13 years even after the death of Ahasuerus. It is believed that she lived to see her son Darius 2nd reign over Persia who assisted Nehemiah in the building of the holy temple in Jerusalem. She was buried in Hamadan (Ecbatana) in what is today western Iran.

Queen Esther can now say the words of King David in this victorious moment. Psalm 18:48, “He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: Thou hast delivered me from the violent man.” God found favor in Queen Esther and placed her above his enemies. Her story expresses how we must always put our trust in Him and through every moment in our lives we must remember that we are special to God. With faith, prayer, and love we can shine just like Queen Esther and make good changes in the world in the power and will of God.

We all are important and play a key role in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and giving all thanks to our Creator who sits on the heavenly throne.

Do you believe you are special in Christ? Tell us below about your faith and help encourage others to always trust in God.


Written by: L.C. Harrison


Resources

King James Version Bible – http://www.biblegateway.com

Esther.” Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. Encyclopedia.com. 8 Aug. 2018. http://www.encyclopedia.com.

“Esther.” Wayne Blank. Daily Bible Study. http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/estherb.htm

The Bible Timeline. http://timeline.biblehistory.com/home

“Queen Esther of the Bible.” Israel-a-history-of.com. http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/queen-esther-of-the-bible.html

Photo of Esther and King Ahasuerus by Professional Photographer James C. Lewis 

Other Photos and Images from Google Search

Music Review: When We Pray by Tauren Wells

When we pray, things do change. 

I recently stumbled across this song When We Pray by Tauren Wells (2017) despite hearing it multiple times on the radio. It is one of those songs that will last forever like the song Jesus Loves Me and many others. 

When the church starts praying, things do change.

I enjoy the message related in this song. It’s uplifting and encouraging, letting people know that when you pray and place all of your trust in Jesus, things do happen. 

We are living in a world right now where situations arises and we feel like there is no end to them. People are filled with so much hatred and find it challenging to let things go. But when we turn to Jesus and relieve ourselves of those burdens, we can come out victorious. 

Jesus did not die on the cross to leave us to face situations alone. He died on the cross so he could stand beside us in spirit and in heart and walk us through. God’s blessings and mercies are upon us every time we open our eyes in the morning. And a great way to give God thanks for this undeserved gift, we must always pray. 

I know, life can get tough and when we turn on the television we feel like giving up. We want to lose hope in ourselves, in people, in society, and in the world, but we must always remember that Jesus had an abundance of hope for all of us when he hung on the cross and died for the people then and in the future.

God has not given up hope on us, but as the hour of Jesus’ return grows nearer, that hope will end. And when God’s hope end for this world he created, it would be your last chance to accept salvation or be cast in the lake of fire. Just like the days of Noah, those people were warned that judgment was near, but they did not take heed. 

But right now, hope is still strong. When we pray we show God we have not given up. We still trust in Him in all ways and in all things. So when the world is crumbling around us, we must keep our heads lifted high and our eyes upon the hills which cometh our help.

Remember to Pray. Pray. Pray about it and may God bless you and keep you.

What is your favorite gospel or inspirational song and why? Please give your thoughts below.

-Sincerely, LeQuita


When We Pray – Tauren Wells – Youtube Video – Song Published 2017

Writing Is Fun… But It’s Tough

Right now, I am working on two major books despite everyone telling me to focus on one. 

However, I cannot help it. Being a writer, I find it comforting to have my imagination and flooding ideas written out. I always picture myself in the future, as a well-known writer with a few titles under her belt, but I know it is going to be a tough road to that goal. 

Best thing to do at this point is to take it slow and enjoy the ride. 

I find writing liberating. I could sit at my computer for hours, fingers tapping a mile a minute on the keyboard and mind spilling out its thoughts. It’s fun for me, but I will tell the honest truth. 

It is tough! Please let me know below if it’s the same for you or if you have any tips on making this writing journey easier. Thank you.

When I say tough, it’s not tough to the point I would like to give up. It’s more of a hassle writing and rewriting draft after draft and sometimes it still feels not right. I read books from time to time, and research articles on tips and advice on writing, but it is still tough. 

Yet I enjoy this tough! It produces a lot of challenges which I later overcome. And I feel great when I’ve accomplished finishing a chapter or a short story. But when I finish writing my two books-in-progress and I feel they are ready for publication, then I will have a party. 

Yes a party… or perhaps a very long vacation with my computer and laptop locked away out of reach. 

But through this journey, I will continue to trust in God. I know the big man on the throne is proud of me and wants me to keep writing. So, I will never give up. In the name of Jesus, I will get a book published and I will be satisfied. I hope…

Thank you for reading my thoughts on this matter. Please give any advice or tips you use to keep yourself motivated or organized in your writing journey.

-Sincerely LeQuita! 

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Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Your Wrath

Ephesians 4:26- Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

When you go through the day remember to trust Jesus and always pray. Both will get you through a situation or through your day. Smile at those who scorn you or ignore you because that is how you will obtain your blessings. Show love to your neighbors (everyone) even your enemies because greater is your reward. Do not end your day filled with anger and regret. Lay your burdens at God’s Throne, forgive those who’ve done you wrong. Ask for forgiveness to those you’ve done wrong. Seek God’s wisdom in all things and remember never let the rain ruin your day. Don’t let another day go by with your heart torn because tomorrow is never promised.

God Bless You!

-verse of the day

Faith, Hope, Charity, these Three; but the Greatest of these is Charity

“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” -1 Corinthians 13:13

Charity is Love. Love can defeat an army of evil. Love is what makes God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Without love or the basics of love we can easily fall prey to hatred and sin which would lead us into damnation. Jesus said, to love your neighbors and your enemies, because greater is your reward on earth and in heaven. It may sound hard to do, but if Jesus could die on the cross for both righteous and unrighteous then you should be able to forgive a person for everything they’ve done to you. And if they do not forgive you back just pray about it and seek the wisdom of God to let your light of love shine greater than their evil spirit. 

I love you and God Bless You!

Ponder this: Reading is good for the mind…

Reading is good for the mind.

Writing is good for the heart.

Together they are good for the soul.

-LCH

Ponder this: A sign is given to forewarn…

“A sign is given to forewarn that something is about to happen. When the leaves begin to fall from the trees, we know that the weather will change, winter is on the way. Love is rapidly diminishing in this world. This is a sure sign that Christ is coming.”

Acts 2: 17-21, KJV

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

-God Bless you and Keep you! Remember Jesus Saves!

Today in History: The Seventh-Day Sabbath

Excluding today’s actual date and focusing more on the day of the week, let’s dive in to the truth behind what the Jews and many Christians call the Sabbath. 

According to Genesis 2:1-3, God created Earth and Heaven in six whole days but when the seventh day arrived, he did something totally different. He blessed, sanctified, and rested on this seventh day. 

For him to be an all powerful God, we all know he did not need physical rest. However, he did this strange thing not for himself but for us. He knew in the future that we humans would need a day of rest from our labor. Of course at that time, he didn’t know that Earth would fall prey to sin, but good thing he planned ahead of time. 

Everyone in the past and the present can agree that working has grown hard and money comes and goes like water filling in your palm and leaking through your fingers. And while our minds and bodies are laboring to provide for ourselves and our family, sometimes it’s difficult to give God our full attention. That is when the Sabbath Day comes into play. We can put aside everything and take a physical, spiritual, and mental rest. We can give God our attention and praise him and tell him thank you for our blessings of the week. 

Even Jesus took the time to rest on the Sabbath by going to the temple (Mark 6:2, Luke 4:16-20) and ministering to those who wanted to hear. He also ate a meal (Matthew 12:1-8and visited people who were in need of his blessing (Luke 12:14). His livelihood can be seen as an example of how we should use the Sabbath Day effectively. Spreading the gospel, teaching about living in Christ, visiting those who are ill or in prison, and above all giving God the praise in fellowship. 

Many people believe that when Jesus came and died on the cross that he did away with the Ten Commandments and the fourth commandment to Remember the Sabbath Day. However, Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven, (Matthew 5:17-19).

The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). God wanted to make sure we took the time to remember him. God is a loving and merciful god. Although, he encourages us to acknowledge him every single moment of our life, he only asked for one day to give him our full attention. That is a good and courteous god who at the end knows our circumstances and gives us grace to make our own decisions. He does not want to force worship, but he wants us to obey his commandments and give him praise because it is in our hearts and what we desire to do.  

Thank you Jesus for your mercies, your love, and your grace. Without it, we would be lost.

-All sources are from the King James Version Bible.

What do you think about the Seventh Day Sabbath? Please tell your thoughts below. 

Take the Time to Pray

Praying. What do you know about it? What does God’s Word say about it?

Jesus told his disciples to always ask, seek, and knock for God will answer, so you will find what you seek, and God will open many doors just for you. He said he will ‘never leave us nor forsake us.’ Wherever we go in this dangerous merciless world, Jesus is always by our side. He knows our heart and wants the best for us, especially to be saved. 

When you’ve grasped hold onto your mustard seed of faith, have patience for your blessings are soon to come. When times seem to wear you down or there’s an obstacle in your way, find your secret place of peace and pray. Praying is an act of faith, an important piece of evidence Jesus uses on our behalf as our mediator to present to God. If what you ask, seek, or knock for is in God’s will, you will receive it. But in the meantime, continue to give God the thanks and the praise he deserves. 

If you do not know how to pray, here are some simple steps to do so. Mindful, God can hear you whether you speak it or think it, and where you are does not matter. Just remember to humble yourself and be at peace. Release your fears, your doubt, and your anxiety. God will answer. 

Steps to having a conversation with God. 

  1. A – Adoration – Give God, the Father, and Jesus, our Savior all the praise and the glory. 
  2. C – Confession – Confess all of your sins and seek forgiveness. (You do not need to go and see a priest. Jesus is our priest).
  3. T – Thanksgiving – Thank God for what blessings you have now. (Your Life, Health, and Strength or maybe even your job, family, love-one, food, just about anything that makes you happy or satisfied.)
  4. S- Supplication – After you’ve done the steps above, this is your time to ask, seek, and knock. Ask God for what you want. Tell God what you seek. And never cease from knocking (praying).
  5. In Jesus’ Name – Remember to end your prayer with the holiest of sayings, “In the Name of Jesus” because it is only through our Savior, our Mediator, our High Priest in which our prayers shall travel to the Almighty throne. 

So, do not give up. Jesus did not die on the cross to let you down now. He’s on your side. Take the time to pray and watch your blessings unfold. 

-God Bless You

How to Handle a Situation: Call on Jesus

Image result for call on Jesus imageSituations will arise whether the day, the time, and the moment. For many, the first thing we want to do is high-tail it in the other direction or hand it over to someone else to handle it for you.

It is normal and natural to want to do this and some actually do them. However, it’s always good to remember that every situation that crosses our path is just another opportunity to prove the power of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus was fasting for 40 days and nights and was wandering the wilderness, he was on a mission, a spiritual mission. He was facing his transition of anointment from God. For him and for all of us today, this was very important. But the devil always finds a way to meddle into our en-devours and our plans. And guess what, God allows him to do so, not out of pleasure or because he is a terrible god. No. He allows the devil to meddle in so we can lift our eyes to the hills from whence cometh our help. That help is God. As powerful as God is, he did not stop Satan from engaging with Jesus during his fasting. He gave Jesus the opportunity to express his devotion to God by rebuking the devil and speaking the Word of God. (Matthew 4)

The Word of God is like a two-edged sword. Have you heard that before? Yes it’s in the bible. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12. Every word written in this holy book is for the purpose of strengthening us in times of need as well as giving us power to stand up and fight the situations that arises.

If you place all your trust in Jesus to handle the situation, he will give you a miracle. That miracle is your reward at the end of going through the situation. Never avoid the situation because it could get worse. Have Jesus by your side every step of the way and you will come out victorious. Hallelujah.

So when you find yourself in a situation or a problem, or anything that you feel you are not capable of handling, pray about it and trust in Jesus. It always amazes me how little we need to do to prove our faith to God. And despite how little or simple these may be, to God it means the world to him. He loves our dependence on him and he encourages it.

Why stand alone? Why turn away and run? Why ask another human to handle it? Just call on an all-loving and all-powerful God. 

Have you ever had a situation and you trusted in God? Tell your testimony below.

– Written by LC Harrison

The Jesus Time

You askimgres
and wait
For that moment
when all you’ve asked
comes.

You seek
and still seek
Until all hope
seems to be
gone.

You knock
until your hand
bleeds
you think no one
is home.

But remember
our time is not
His time.
He did pour out
his blessings upon
you.

But you
must be patient
keep praying
keep asking
keep seeking
keep knocking
because when
that time comes
you probably would not notice
until after you’ve finished
smiling.

Then you’d know
that he had answered
not when you wanted
but right
on time.

That’s the Jesus time.

-written by L.C. Harrison

Me and My Lord

Me and my Lord forever it shall be
Living in a mansion and living eternally
Walking with my Lord under his magnificent light 

All eyes shall see his blessed face
When he descends on that precious day
Who shall be worthy to stand before his grace? 

When I hear the name of Jesus
I can’t help but sing and praise
For he has done so many things for me
In so many ways 

In times of need he is my shield
My protector, my knight in shining armor
Just call on him and you shall see
His greatness and his honor 

Our God is an awesome God
He created you and me
He sent his only precious son
To die for us on Calvary 

When people have forsaken me
And there are mountains in my way
I know who I can call on,
I know not to be afraid. 

Don’t you be afraid to seek my Lord
He said, seek and ye shall find
Knock and it shall be opened
What more can I say? 

Me and my Lord forever it shall be
Walking down his righteous path
My feet shall not be moved
I have placed my trust in Jesus Christ
Because he’s the way, the truth, and the life

-Written by LC Harrison


Thank you for visiting my website. I hope you enjoyed this poem. Please like, share, or reblog and help spread the word that Jesus saves. God bless. 

Ponder this…

“The love of God is unconditional.”

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. – 1 John 4:8

Remember Jesus because he is LOVE!!!

Jesus Warns Us About Religious Cults

As the days on Earth are coming towards its end, Jesus warned us to be aware of false religious preachers and teachers who would deceive people and lead them away from God and His Son Jesus Christ.

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. –Jesus said to his disciples, Matthew 24:24, KJV

Do you remember Jim Jones? He was a minister who led his 900 members of the Peoples Temple to their deaths in Jonestown, Guyana in the late 1970s. This was a cult. He did not preach through the Word of God. He focused more on himself and his glory. He committed false miracles, manipulated people’s minds who were already seeking help or peace, and by the end of his deceptive leadership he pronounced himself as the Messiah. When he heard the FBI was coming for him in Guyana he had his members drink poisoned Kool-Aid. This is a cult. This is what Jesus warned his people of in the Bible.

The Bible gives the true followers of Jesus ways to distinguish between a true and false religious leaders and group of people. Let’s go through them in these six identifying features.

Feature 1

Cults will have a powerful human leader who would eventually claim themselves as the Messiah

– The Bible teaches us that it is bad to put your trust in humans because they would not help you or may stab you in the back.Psalm 146:3

-Our only Messiah, our only source of salvation is through Jesus Christ. Man is made of flesh and the flesh is weak (Galatians 5). If you seek the cult leaders for salvation they cannot forgive you of your sins or get you into Heaven. No they are only man and man is prone to sin and deceptions if they do not keep their focus on Jesus.Isaiah 45:22, Acts 4:12

Feature 2

Cult leader’s word or teachings overshadow the teachings of the Scriptures. 

-What did Jesus say about placing the teachings of any human being above the Word of God? He told us that every word that slithers from their mouths will be in vain. None of it would profit you or get you into Heaven or change you for the good.Mark 7:7, Luke 11:52

-To avoid being deceived by the teachings of these cults we must prove all things. This means take what they say and compare it with the Word of God. Pray and seek Jesus for understanding and knowledge and the Holy Spirit to discern the right from the wrong. Do not drool on everything these cults teach or eventually they will take your mind. Manipulation will be the number one tool a cult will use. So God’s Word is a reliable guide and is the only Truth. If the cult excludes the Bible just for his own pleasures then it is the work of Satan, not God. 1 Thessalonians 5:21, Isaiah 8:20, John 17:17

Feature 3

Cults will use pressure tactics to coerce its members into submission.

-Remember, God does not want us to serve and to love Him through fear. He wants us to do so in our own choice. This is one of his characteristics- mercy.

-A cult would do the opposite. They will force you to join through the means of manipulation and pressure. Ex. If you don’t do this then Jesus won’t love you. Whoever says something or in some form like this is giving false teachings. God loves even the sinner. He loves us all. God only wishes that we make the right decision to choose Him over Satan. As America gives us the freedoms of life, so does God give us the same. Your life is your life which means you are in control of your destiny not your parents, not your religious leaders, YOU. So choose the better path- Jesus Christ and he will guide you through to your destiny and open your eyes to false religions. Joshua 24:14; Revelation 22:17

Feature 4

Cults will do miracles and would turn it towards their own divinity rather than God. 

-Do you know who the anti-christ is? He will be the devil chosen man to pretend he is Jesus Christ to deceive the world so they would not make it to Heaven. In Revelation 13:13 they call him the “Beast” who would deceive the majority of Earth including the very elect (rich and politicians).

-Be aware that only through the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, can miracles and spectacular things occur. But if the person praises him or herself it is false. The Bible tells us that even the Devil has a specific amount of power to do supernatural things.Revelation 16:14, Revelation 19:20. So God tells us in His Word that Satan does have power but he uses it only to deceive and to cut your path towards living eternally. Satan had lost that wonderful privilege a long time ago when he sought to be above God; he had made his decision, so make yours.

-The Word said that the reason many will be deceived by these cults is because they have not accepted Jesus Christ and have not changed their lifestyles to follow Jesus Christ. Without the Holy Spirit it will be hard for people to distinguish between the false and the truth.2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Feature 5

Cults will often urge members to leave their families.

-The Word of God teaches us about togetherness, love, and the importance of family. Jesus urged his disciples and us today to preach and teach Salvation to everyone even your families. The cults on the other hand will tell you otherwise. They will make you think that you are above your family so to exclude you from their warnings to help you escape the cult.

-The whole purpose of Salvation is for us to be reunited with God as the family we were supposed to be. Cults will attack the lonely, the broken, the confused, the young, the atheists, the scientists, and all those who block God from their hearts and minds. Satan wants to attack our confidence and lure you away from the Truth.Ephesians 1:7; 2:19-20, 1 Corinthians 7:13-14, Ephesians 5:32,33.

Feature 6

Cults do not live a righteous life.

-God gave us his commandments for us to obey and to show our love for Him. If the leader and his or her people do not live a righteous life then it is a cult.

-The number 1 way to detect a cult through his or her lifestyle is the day of worship. God had rested, blessed, and sanctified the seventh day. Remember He had done this way before there was a nation of people (Israels, Jews, Seventh-Day Adventist, Jehovah Witnesses, etc.) This day of worship was for all man before sin entered the world. Man has created the divisions of religion. There is only one religion, one law, one faith, one baptism, one God, and one savior Jesus Christ. He wrote his commandments with his own finger and gave it to Moses so His people would be refreshed on their laws. The Seventh Day Sabbath Day is the day of the Lord’s. All work is placed aside and the day is dedicated to worshiping and thanking God for He is worthy of all the praise. Jesus came to fulfill the Law not rid of it.Exodus 20:1-17, Genesis 2:1-3, Luke 24:44.

-The reason people today worship God on Sunday (the First Day) and call it the Sabbath is because of the papacy. In 1893 during an interview the pope admitted that the Catholic Church had changed the Sabbath Day (Seventh Day) to Sunday (First Day). Why did they do it? Because they felt as though they had the power and authority to do so. Remember, no one must change or mess with God’s word.

-Revelation 22:18-19 says- For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

-Also if the cult eats unhealthy foods according to Leviticus 11, then they are defiling their bodies. Remember our bodies are living temples of God. What we put into our bodies will affect us mentally, physically, and spiritually. Daniel and his brothers had showed us how wise you become if you eat only vegetables and grains and other foods God permitted. When Nebuchadnezzar tested them against his other servants they were smarter and wiser and was placed above the others. Satan wants to attack our minds through us physically, so he will deceive you to eat unclean.

-Cursing and Foul Language. The Bible and even Jesus himself showed us how we should communicate to one another. Using foul language is unacceptable and foolish. We as the people of God must WATCH. W– Ways, A– Actions, T-Tongue, C-Conversation, H– Habits. Guess what, God is watching us and knows our hearts and hears our thoughts. Do not let the devil get you caught up into the influences of the world. Cults will tell you to live your life the way you want too, not according to what God said.

As someone I know told me, the Bible is our Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. It is our guidelines to make sure we stay focused on Jesus rather than man. God wants us to worship him because we want to and love Him. God gave us His Word to help us because He loves us all. He does not want to see us lost, but he is a merciful God and gives us the opportunity to choose between good or evil. He gives us many scriptures throughout the Bible concerning religious leaders and how to know if they are real men or women of God or false deceivers of the devil. So take the time to read and study the Word of God, not alone but with others. Ask and seek the wisdom and knowledge of God and he will answer your prayer.

God Bless you in your studies and your life journey with Jesus Christ.

If you have any questions or comments please tell your thoughts below.


Sources:
King James Version Bible
The Catholic Mirror, September 1893
Roman Catholic and Protestant Confessions about Sunday
Tampering with Heaven’s Constitution, Search for Certainty, 2010
Modern Cults Identified Five Ways, Search for Certainty, 2010
Our Greatest Need- New Lifestyle, Search for Certainty, 2010
Spiritual Battle: Good Verses Evil
Controversy Between Good and Evil
How Evil Began
Documentary- Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple


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Writing Blah Blah Blah for Yourself: My Five Ways to Getting into the Writing Mode

Every step she took towards the cave the heavier the air grew. Sweat dribbled down her temples and the sword in her grip suddenly felt too light as she approached the unknown. Just a foot away from the shadows that reached out for her, a low growl slithered ice through her veins. Whatever sat within confirmed her rattled nerves, only one of them would exit the opposite end alive.

Sometimes that’s how I feel when obstacles suddenly pop up in my life of professional and creative writing. Doubt starts to unravel and I am stuck between decision- making or problem solving. When I’m writing a fantasy story I may come across writer’s block and not know where to take my main character. It is similar in my professional writing as an intern for the Johns Hopkins University Press, making sure the information in a journal’s article is correct to continue for publishing.

Writing has its perks. It can be enjoyable, informative, or plain uneasy. Whether the direction you wish to go, remember creative writing is just that- creative.

You may have read or watched interviews of great authors who some say ‘write to please people’ or ‘write to please yourself.’ You can benefit a lot from both, but to me I point all my fingers and arrows towards the latter. I always tell myself when I’m indulged in my fantasy book-in-progress, “LeQuita, if you are happy than who cares?” And it’s true. The whole purpose of creative writing is to express what you’ve been caging up inside like that dragon who can sing or your theories about Area 51 cover ups.  

Weird? But who cares.

Here I will give you a few personal ways on how I prepare myself to getting into the writing mode.

Find a place you feel most comfortable.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
– Mark Twain

Is it a library where you can hear a pin drop? Is it at a café where there’s people and the great smell of coffee in the air? Wherever it is, go there now, carry along your laptop or notebook and pen, sit down, and write. Well, you don’t have to go at this exact moment, but go to that comfort place to free your mind.

This varies for different writers who have their own views and hobbies. For me, I enjoy libraries and sitting at my desk in my room of serenity, ears drowning in Gospel or R&B music as my fingers type a mile a minute. Sometimes whenever I’m on the campus of University of Baltimore, where I am studying for an English Degree in Professional Writing, I like to sit in the Student Center Quiet Room which has a fantastic view and nice lounges that helps me focus.

But what if you find yourself in an uncomfortable place to write such as work? Whatever writing job you acquire, try finding a way to relax yourself mentally. Two great suggestions can be eating a snack or listening to music. Once you find that special place, you will see great progress in your work.

Eat or Listen to Music

“There’s a friendly tie of some sort between music and eating.”
 – Thomas Hardy, Under the Greenwood Tree

Pizza loaded with green peppers, onions, mushrooms, black olives, peperoni, sausages, and extra tomato sauce. Nachos and tortilla chips. A family size bag of Doritos. A bowl of cheesy pasta slathered in marinara sauce. Ice tea filled to the top with a sliced lemon hanging off the tip… I bet you are hungry. So why not eat while you write?

I enjoy eating. It comes second to my passion for writing. When I’m not eating, I am writing, and when I’m not writing, I’m eating. Don’t be ashamed if that is how you can concentrate. Like I said above in finding your comfort spot to write, do something that keeps your mind active, and alert, yet in peace.

“We are a thousand miles from comfort. We have traveled land and sea, but as long as you- WRITING- are with me, there’s no place I’d rather be…” (I’d Rather Be by Clean Bandit). Here is a peaceful upbeat song that is one of many I enjoy listening too while I write. From gospel to R&B, music has always been a great encourager to finishing a chapter or a class assignment within an hour.

Read what you like

“Write. Rewrite. When not writing, or rewriting, read. I know of no shortcuts.”
—Larry L. King

If you don’t read, how will you learn about anything? Reading, whether the genre or the publication, can suck you out of reality and into another world. This is a great moment to sit back and relax or butcher the book, magazine, or article. What do I mean? While you read, take the time to highlight or take notes on your favorite quotes, lines, parts, chapters, or even characters so later you can study them. Try and figure out the writer’s style and how he or she plays with grammar, figure of speech, the flow of content, or even the word count.

Do research as well because having knowledge about the genre or style of publication you are writing may depend on what you learn. Make sure you do not let this preside over your own style and imagination, because this is a very easy trap to fall into. I have learned from many author interviews that comparing your work with another published writer’s is a terrible thing to do. If you find yourself doing that take a break and write down your wishes, goals, and ideas for your work and stick to that for a while. Or simply just pick up your favorite publication and read it for pleasure.

Just Write It

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
—Joyce Carol Oates

This is one challenge of mines which I have yet to succeed. Authors would scream at you, “Just write it,” but you can’t help it and you find yourself editing your work. We are our worst critics! Yes, it is a cliché but a true one. Take the time to write your stories, your articles, your essays, your poems, or that novel until you’ve flushed it out of your system. Forget the correct grammar, styles, and the misspelled words. Once you are finished the entire work, then take your time and do a thorough edit. You will be surprised on how much you can accomplish when you refrain from over editing your work.

Take Breaks

 “There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”
— Alan Cohen, the author of “Why Your Life Sucks

Taking breaks in between your time of writing can refresh your mind and your thoughts. This can reduce writer’s block which are the devil incarnated to us writers and can reduce stress. Everyone faces a period of stress in some point of their life, especially, when your daily task involves mental cooperation. Go on a trip to Hawaii or around the corner at the new Rainbows clothing shop to let your mind take a breather.

Many people enjoy rock climbing, reading books, spending time with family and friends, or just staying wrapped in the comforters eating an ice cream cone. Your mind is a treasure of gold, so protect it and take care of it. This advice can relate to everyone because no one wants to fail or drive themselves crazy. So, stop what you’re doing for a while and take a break. Go to sleep for an hour and wake up prepared to journey on.

“I think all writing is a disease. You can’t stop it.”
—William Carlos Williams

Writing is a disease, one of those good ones which you should not feel ashamed about. Those who are bold and challenge themselves can succeed in whatever is their heart’s desire. Don’t worry about the time that sulks by or the many people who dislikes your work, because at the end of the day it’s all about you. You control what you write. You control what you think and what you imagine. You control the eyes you want to shock and you control the smile upon your face. Write blah blah blah for yourself and watch the world bow at your feet.

“A thought can float away, but writing it will last forever.” -LeQuita C. Harrison

Written by: LeQuita C. Harrison | UB Writing EBook | Published on November 14, 2016 in the Creative Memoir journal by University of Baltimore Students

God Loves to Have Fun Too

God may be a serious god, but He loves to have fun too.

Why do you think He gave the creation of man humor, imagination, creativity, and love? Why do you think He gave us the ability to smile and to laugh? 

The scriptures tell us that God created man in His image. This means everything about us, from our features to our inward appearances to our very personalities we are a part of God in many ways. Excluding the sin that we are fleshly born into, we have every capability to be like Jesus. That is and should be our goal in our life.

We must remember that Jesus came to Earth to be an example for us. In some movie depictions of Jesus, they have him very serious yet humble. But do not forget he had attended a wedding where there was most likely celebration, laughter, and fun. The Word tells us that Jesus even wept which meant he had times in his life where he laughed with his family and his disciples. He possessed similar emotions as we do, but of course, he was anointed and without sin. AMEN!

There is nothing wrong with having fun as long as it does not cross the line into sin. God gave us His Ten Commandments as well as other moral advice on how to spend our time. Yes it’s okay to enjoy the fruit of your labor or the gift of liberty, but we must beware of the devices of Satan at the same time. We cannot fall prey to Satan’s deceptions and temptations.

God loves to have fun too! Remember that we all were created in His liking. He made everything good. So in the midst of your trials and tribulation, rejoice. Dance and give praise, sing a song or shout to the clouds passing by because you are alive and are grateful for God’s mercies to let you see another day. God had gifted King David to be a poet of his time. He wrote songs and poetry (as we know as Psalms) that not only pointed out sin or sought the presence of God, but also celebrated for being alive…in God.

Every time you celebrate something in your life, remember how King David did it. In the midst of his joy he returned and gave God thanks for his mercy, his love, his grace, and his power. God created us. We are His creation. So go ahead and have fun…but do it in the name of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the precious Holy Spirit.

Have a blessed day and don’t forget to shout!

-Written by LCH

Remember Jesus and Have Fun!!

Place: Nazareth

Mark 10:47
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.

Bible
Jesus Christ was born in a small village called Nazareth. It is also where he grew up, learned, and taught the Word of God in the synagogues on the Sabbath (Saturday, Seventh Day). He lived with his parents, Joseph from the line of David and Mary with his little brother John. According to the Pharisees and Sadducees they looked down on the people of Nazareth because it wasn’t as prosperous as the other cities. Jesus was born as a servant of God and because he held no faults of sin, he bore humility. This is what the Jews could not understand. In their interpretation of the prophecies (in the Old Testament/ the Torah) it called the Messiah a king who would conquer. They took it literally thinking the Messiah was going to be an actual king with riches and power enough to take Jerusalem. But when they found out Jesus came from Nazareth, they closed their ears to whatever else he had to say because they let their pride, their own beliefs, and their own habits blind them of the truth. They opened the door for Satan to enter and he walked in and did a lot of damage. Thank you God for blessing us with your Son, Jesus Christ. He is our Savior, our Messiah.

Message
By God giving us Jesus through a lower class shows us how much we should take on the same humility as Jesus. We should humble ourselves to God and be a willing and faithful servant. God has blessed us with a ton of mercies so many for us to count. Jesus being one of those mercies. God showed his love, his support, and his gift to free us from sin and death. In Jesus we can do all things. With Jesus we are made higher than the very elites because we hold the power of God in our souls. That is far greater than what man could give us on earth. “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” Matthew 23:12. Amen.

Historical Fact
Hebrew pronunciation- HaNotzri (הנצרי)
During Jesus’ time the population of this small village was less than 200. Nazareth had survived many invasions including the Roman and the Byzantine eras and the Islamic era. Nazareth now holds up to 60,000 Israeli Arabs. 69% are Muslim and 39% are Christians.

The Power of P.R.A.Y.E.R

P-eace

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint (Luke 18:1). Prayer brings natural and spiritual peace. When you’re placing your trust in God you are increasing your faith because you have decided to put worldly and manly trust aside to lay everything in God’s hand. Jesus said to always pray and you will not faint. Trouble and hardships may come your way, but Jesus promised to take them all away. He is your refuge and your hope. Never give up. Constantly go to God in prayer and tell him exactly what you want. If it is in God’s will you will see your prayer answered. He may not answer it when you want Him to, but he will do so on time. Prayer teaches you patience. The world we live in today has grown to be at its own fast pace, but time belongs only to God. Man has no control of it no matter how much it seems to be. So relax, get on your knees, and pour out your heart and cry. There is nothing wrong with crying. Actually it’s a great way to release stress. Even Jesus cried. Remember prayer is peace.

R-epentance

While you are on your knees or standing in the grocery line always remember to ask for forgiveness. Sometimes we fall short to sin. Because we are of flesh we are prone to sin. Satan is always working to knock a saint off his or her feet. You must remember that God’s mercies endure forever and are renewed every time you open your eyes the next day (Psalm 136:1). In the Epistles of John, he wrote that if you say you have not sinned then you make God a liar (1 John 1:10). That is the worst thing you want to say. When you repent you are washing yourself in the blood of Jesus to erase your deeds from your book in heaven. Everyone has their own book being recorded with everything: thought, deed, conversation, action, and sins. When you go before the Lord in prayer you want nothing to stand in between you and your blessings.

A-doration

Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord (Psalm 150:6). Prayer is a great time to give God the praise. He is our Creator and our King and deserves all adoration. You can sing a song, recite or read a scripture, laugh or cry, dance or shout because God has been good to you. He is your protector, your healer, your way-maker, your teacher, your father, your mother, your closest friend, your deliverer, your King, your blessed God. Whatever God has done for you do not be afraid to show it. Tell others how much the Lord’s been good to you. Don’t feel as if you should keep God a secret in your life. If people don’t want to hear it, tell them anyway because they need Him too. Encourage others to pray and praise and give Him the glory. He woke you up this morning, answered your prayers, and kept you through the day. Remember to thank Him every minute of the day.

Y-eshua

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). Jesus left his heavenly home to enter into a sinful world with one mission, to die and save everyone. Once Jesus died and resurrected God gave him ALL power. He is the Prince of Earth. Jesus is the only way you can talk to God. He is your mediator and your Savior. Through his blood we are forgiven and saved. Without Jesus you are nothing. When you pray ask God for your need or thank him through the name Jesus Christ. Accepting Jesus as your Messiah means you want to be closer to God. You want God to hear and know your voice. The more you pray the more you will start to feel the spirit of God within you. When Jesus ascended to Heaven he gave us the Holy Spirit to be our Comforter so when you pray you will actually feel his presence. When you’re walking down a street praying for protection, his spirit is caped around you. Jesus has a lot of names and titles in the Bible which gives you plenty of ways to call on him. Do not forget Yeshua, he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6).

E-ternal Life

That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:15). Eternal Life is a result of praying. Having and obtaining faith and trusting in Jesus for all things has brought you closer to God. That is your goal, to be closer to God. Being accepted and making Him proud should be the goal of the world, but Satan’s deceptions is causing people to go astray. Cling onto God through prayer. It is our clear connection with God which Satan does not have and cannot get back that’s why he places so much turmoil in a person’s life. Do not give up. Our heavenly home, New Jerusalem, is being built as you pray. God promised us in His Word that if you follow Christ in all ways, manner, and life your reward is to be with him forever. You do not want to be apart of the second death, damnation, because once you are destroyed in the lake of fire, it would be as if you were never born (Revelation). You will miss out on eternal life. Remember prayer is a strong assurance of being made whole.

R-emember

Remember praying is a spiritual cleansing. Seeking God for a clean heart and a renewed spirit will help you grow into the person God wants you to be. Do not take your life in your own hands because you as of flesh are prone to failing or to miss something. Giving your entirety to Jesus will allow him to do the changes and delete the unseen faults so your path to eternal life would be straight and true. Seek for a teachable spirit to understand the Word from Genesis to Revelation. Seek for a clear mind to remember scriptures and the Truth so you can preach to others and encourage yourself through your bumps in the road. Seek for love, faith, hope, healing, anything so nothing will stand in your way of receiving blessings and your end reward. Remember God’s commandments and to do them. Jesus came to fulfill his Father’s laws including all Ten Commandments and those concerning love, helping and encouraging others, and ways of living. Remember Jesus came to do away with the Sacrificial Laws such as the Passover and Pentecost when he died and shed his blood for the world. His blood was pure and was anointed by God to have the power to forgive sins. Remember to trust in God and pray all the time. Pray when you’re in your car, talking to people, eating, watching the news at the horrors of Satan, at church, doing laundry, working at your job, everywhere. Remember God is everywhere. There is no hiding from God (Hebrews 4:13).

when you pray, mountains move, 
strength renews, connections brew,
promises and rewards are made true
there’s power, it’s power, glorious power
in prayer

Everything said and scriptures are from the Word of God, KJV Bible.

FYI-  Prayer lessons from Path of Righteousness Church in Christ

Inspirationals: Encourage & Inspire written by L.C. Harrison